Ira is happy. He got a dog for Christmas – a black and white fox terrier puppy. His girlfriend brought it to him at the hospital. The doctor said it couldn’t stay there, but it was ok if she came with it every day, during visiting hours. Ira called it Orion. The hunter. But she said it was wrong, because Ira should be the hunter Orion and the dog should be called Sirius. Ira smiled and thought she was so smart and so good to him and he had nothing left to give her, while he was barely hanging on to his life. Perish that thought, he said to himself. I love her and she will live on, long after… and be happy. So Ira decided to call the puppy Orion, like the hunter, for in this story he was the dog, faithful and loving to the end.
Lucas is happy. He washed a Cadillac today in the parking lot and got 5 $. Cadillac was his favourite car ever, he always dreamt one day he would be a bell boy in a hotel and get to park Cadillacs for the bosses. His dad gave him a beating yesterday, because he had only 15$ and some change and because the old sailor was drunk stiff. Then he fell on the stairs and Lucas ran away, didn’t know if he was still alive or not. Father Gavin at the church told him he will rot in hell because he is dirty, but Lucas knew better. He couldn’t speak well, because his dad had broken his jaw when he was 3 years old, and that’s why everyone thought he was slow, including father Gavin. But Lucas knew all the prayers by heart and the carols and the hymns – because even though he was never allowed to come in, there was a spot hidden near the side nave door, where he could crouch and listen. And Lucas believed. He thought that was a wise thing to do. And it always made him happy.
Ophelia is happy. She got a pony for Christmas. Her dad came and kissed her mom, and they almost seemed to get along. She hadn’t seen him for the past 6 months, since he’d gone away to the south. Her mom said he would never come back. But now Ophelia saw those few signs that most adult people ignore – missing, love, regret. Though, she knew they would never believe her. So, before going to sleep, she opened the Peter Pan book and she put the Tinker Bell picture on the pillow and she prayed to it, as her mother taught her to pray at the icons. Tinker Bell had to be an adult, Ophelia thought, so if she were to go to mom and dad and tell them everything that Ophelia wanted to tell them, then they would listen. And Tinker Bell winked when she heard that and Ophelia rubbed her eyes and opened wide her mouth with a big smile and was so happy.
Valerie is happy. She had a revelation the other night. She went inside St. Jonas Hotel and Boarding with a large trucker, they got it on and he paid her 100$. That was almost twice her usual fee. She put on an old coat, to cover her flashy top and went to the diner accross the street, had a long coffee and an apple pie. She watched the news – a couple of wars in who-knows-where-land, five accidents on the motorway and a fire at the gas station downtown. She counted her money. And then she saw the trucker drive away his Christmas lighted trailer – and she thought, go with God, may He protect you from wars and fires and accidents. And then it came to her as a flash: what if he dies? – then she will have been the very last piece of love and happiness in his life. And Valerie realized that this must have happened many times before. And if there is Heaven, they must remember her up there. And she was happy.
Emily is happy. A year ago, she kissed a boy at school. He wrote to her during the recreational Catholic classes, that Sunday, but the preacher intercepted the folded paper, read the message and burned it. He took the boy by his right ear and threw him out, never to let him in again at Sunday school. Emily had never understood how God worked in this world and as the preacher said, it was okay, better not to try to understand. She and her parents moved away to another town and she didn’t see the preacher or the boy since then. She remembered him well though and she ran out happily and surprised when she saw him on the lawn of their new house, freshly set up for the Holidays. He had an arm full of flowers. She hugged him and smelled the flowers and then he talked to her, as calm and sure as he could be. He said that he loved her and that to this feeling and to her, he owed his life – because the bus that was taking everyone to Sunday school had crashed, a week after she left, into the St. Andrew ravine. But he wasn’t on that bus. And Emily was so happy about that.
Yves is happy. His wife survived the operation and she’s resting now in the large ICU room on the fifth floor of Saint Nicholas Hospital. He went to the bathroom and saw his face, unshaved, paying tribute for the two nights without sleep. He had never been to church before, but the day before he decided to attend the Christmas mass. He fell asleep for about a half hour and then he could barely remember where he was. A nurse woke him and told him that his wife had been taken to the operating unit in critical condition. Then Yves prayed for the first time, right there, where he was, on the bench. He thought he was not even worth listening to. But there was something there at the back of his mind, like the sound of a cat scratching on the door. The dream, while he was asleep. He couldn’t remember what it was, but there was something immensly good in it. And Yves put all his faith in that.
Oliver is happy. He is free. Fourteen years ago he was brough in an ambulance to the infirmary of St. Elmer penitentiary. He was bandaged and sedated, fresh out of the surgery section of the Central Hospital. A couple of months later he returned to the infirmary with multiple stab wounds and five years added to his initial punishment for vicious assault and second degree murder. He served every last second of his time, he never asked for clemency or parole. Nobody touched him and nobody talked to him all these years – and now, grim and silent, he was breathing the cold, fresh air of the world. There was nobody waiting for Oliver. But much of the strength and vigor he had was still there, conserved. And for once, Oliver thought he would put it all in a grand gesture – being happy.
Ulysses is happy. He saw light for the first time. After ten years of knocking on every door and asking every doctor, his big sis finally got him the best Christmas present ever. They operated him a week ago and now they took off the bandages and even though it hurt him a little, Uly was overwhelmed with the glimmering feelings that were pooring into his mind through the wide open eyes. Then he heard his sis and the doctor whispering. They thought he couldn’t hear, because even though Uly discovered long time ago that his hearing was far better than anyone else’s, he didn’t tell his secret, not even to sis. The doctor said it was a miracle the operation succeeded, but he was quite positive that nothing else can be done and Uly will never actually see. Sis didn’t want to believe and she was so upset. Uly called her. He hugged her and said she was the best sis in the whole wide world and she shouldn’t be upset – and as he was whispering and sis was hugging and kissing him, Uly felt the strangest most wonderful thing happening to him: a drop of warm water, sliding slowly on his cheek. And Uly was happy.
It’s a beautiful world, people. 🙂 Happy Holidays!